For Teenage Rapids Midfielder Cole Bassett, First The Training, Then The Homework

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<p>Vic Vela/CPR News</p>
<p>Colorado Rapids⁩ midfielder Cole Bassett ⁦us 17 years old, a Colorado Native, and plays for the Rapids in between high school English classes.</p>
Photo: Cole Bassett Rapids 1 VV
Colorado Rapids⁩ midfielder Cole Bassett ⁦us 17 years old, a Colorado Native, and plays for the Rapids in between high school English classes.

Professional soccer players have a lot of concerns, but homework isn’t usually one of them. Not so for Cole Bassett, whose first full season with the Colorado Rapids overlaps with his last year at Chatfield High School in Littleton.

Bassett signed with the Rapids in Summer of 2018 and swiftly racked up several “youngest” titles — including the youngest player in team history to start in a game and to score a goal.

The midfielder began playing soccer on a neighborhood team at about 4-years-old and joined the Rapids’ Development Academy two years ago. Bassett is a senior at Chatfield in southern Jefferson County. His schedule with the team means he’s mostly finishing up his school credits online, with the goal of graduating in May.

Interview Highlights With Cole Bassett

What his day is like:

Photo: Cole Bassett Rapids 2 VV (Vertical)
Colorado Rapids⁩ midfielder Cole Bassett.

"I like to be the first one in. And that’s how it’s got to be as a young player -- first one in, last one out, that’s my mentality. So I get in early, probably get in here around 9 o’clock. And then do some rookie dues, maybe wash some dishes and get them ready for the guys so they can eat some breakfast. And then train here, do some work after practice, eat again. Then when I go back home, we’ve got school work to do. So we’ve got English class and Life Preparation. So we just do some online and I chip away at it every day, try to get as much as I can done before May. It’s definitely not the most enjoyable thing to be doing after a hard day of work. But the fact that I’m still in high school and I get to do what I’m doing right now, I couldn’t think of anything better."

On juggling high school and a slot on the team:

“The hardest thing for me is, you see all your friends going out and having fun, doing normal Senior things. I mean, it’s not hard for me because I know I want to be great and if you want to have success, everybody’s hungry for success so you’ve got to outwork everybody else. And that’s why I know that I can’t be going and hanging with friends every night. I have to be focused and still trying to work pretty hard in the training pitch because ultimately I want to go to Europe to play.”

On Rapids’ team culture:

“Every guy on the team, if you’re No.1 on the team sheet or you’re No. 25 on the team sheet, everybody’s got a good culture and they’ve bought into it. So it’s nice that we have a nice camaraderie here. I enjoy being around the guys every day. It’s a lot different from being around high school kids and it’s helped me mature a lot.”

On growing up watching the Rapids:

“One of my favorite guys to watch was Conor Casey and now he’s my coach. And it’s just kind of crazy that he’s staying after practice doing finishing drills with me, when I was watching him banging goals back in 2010 to help the team win the MLS Cup… I still remember the day they won the MLS Cup. I was in my fourth-grade classroom and we met up and we were talking about what our favorite memories over the weekend were and I said that. So I was pretty excited about that."